Planned apartment complex in Battle Ground moves forward

Councilors push for more parking in planned 132-unit mixed development

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Developers proposing a 132-unit apartment complex on the east side of Battle Ground have the greenlight from city council to continue working on their concept, which if approved, will add more multifamily housing to Battle Ground Village.

During its Sept. 7 meeting, the council voted 4-2 to continue working on a conceptual plan with the project developers. In its latest form, the development would put 132 apartment units and about 10,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space on 3.5 acres of land at Southeast Commerce Drive and Southeast 10th Street, south of the current Battle Ground Village development.

Battle Ground City Manager Erin Erdman said council was originally approached about the plan by the project developers in February, giving formal consensus to continue working toward a potential development agreement. She said council has since talked with the developers about potential concepts that include additional park space, parking and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant apartment units.

Following discussion at its Aug. 2 meeting, the council did not come to a consensus to continue working on the agreement, which Erdman said may have been due to confusion on moving forward. The Sept. 7 motion was a formal decision that would indicate whether or not the developers could continue the design process which would be presented at a later date.

Councilor Brian Munson and Battle Ground Deputy Mayor Philip Johnson voted against continuing to look at the project. For those approving the motion, parking was a chief concern among councilors.

Councilor Shane Bowman said the initial number of 161 parking spaces is below the 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit required by city code. Coupled with commercial uses, he expressed concerns on the parking situation if the complex is built.

“For me, that was the big issue, is our parking and open spaces, and not just cramming more density without providing a place for people to park,” Bowman said, pointing to the potential for the parking overflows to reach out into nearby areas in the community.

Councilor Shauna Walters said she was initially against the idea, though after reading a letter from Treasure Investments Corporation CEO Mark Russo she got on board. In the correspondence Russo indicated plans to expand his business, which creates fine art sculptures, with the potential to bring “at least 100 jobs” to the area, she said. Given that potential, more parking is something she’d like to see in the final concept.

Battle Ground Community Development Director Sam Crummett said one possibility for increased parking would be modifying some of the spaces from standard to compact.

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